Stuff the Russians Need to Say About New START « The Washington Independent
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday that Russia reserves the right to withdraw from its new arms-control treaty with the U.S. if it decides the planned U.S. missile-defense shield threatens its security, the Associated Press reported. Mr. Lavrov said Russia will issue a statement outlining the terms for such a withdrawal after Messrs. Obama and Medvedev sign the treaty, AP reported.
“Russia will have the right to opt out of the treaty if qualitative and quantitative parameters of the U.S. strategic missile defense begin to significantly effect the efficiency of Russian strategic nuclear forces,” Mr. Lavrov told the AP.
While the text of New START hasn’t been released — the treaty must first be signed on Thursday in Prague by Presidents Obama and Medvedev — administration officials have been declarative that nothing in New START limits U.S. missile defense plans. Since the Russians consider missile defense to be aimed at them despite the administration’s assurance it’s for missile threats like the one emanating from Iran, that’s naturally going to provoke the Russians to tell their publics that missile defense can ultimately be a dealbreaker for them. They have their hawks and demagogues as well.